In one of world’s largest efforts to collect biometric information, Pakistan has ordered mobile phone users to verify their identities through fingerprints for a national database being compiled to curb terrorism. If they don’t, their service will be shut off, an unthinkable option for many after a dozen years of explosive growth in mobile phone usage.
A French state watchdog has called for the suspension of a database that could end up holding the biometric details of 60 million people. The aim of a single "mega-database" is to fight identity fraud and improve efficiency. But there are fears the database could be abused not only by hackers but by state intelligence too.
The national digital council calls upon the Government to cancel the setup of the mass ID database and consider alternative means which are more moderate and respectful of human rights. See more details here.
In the Netherlands the use of facial recognition technologies for marketing and profiling purposes of customers seems to be increasing. According to the source, this is legally allowed in cases where costumers provide consent. The article highlights the mainstreaming of biometrical technologies. It is questionable if the general public agrees to the widespread use of such technologies and what the impact on societal interaction will be once the technologies have become ubiquitous.
Together with the airline KLM, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol has started a trial with voluntary ‘biometric boarding’, involving boarding without having to show your boarding pass and passport. Passengers can board quickly and easily via a separate gate that identifies passengers using facial recognition. Schiphol and KLM are assessing facial recognition technology with this trial, testing the speed, reliability and user-friendliness of the system. The boarding process and passenger experience will also be evaluated. The ultimate goal is to make the boarding process as easy and quick as possible for passengers. The trial period will last at least three months.